SSDA Today - Fall/Winter 2016 - 18

FEATURE Super Strong: The Extraordinary Nature of Leadership Resilience BY ELLE ALLISON-NAPOLITANO, PhD. FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF WISDOM OUT S INCE 2000, WHEN I BEGAN A DISCIPLINED STUDY INTO THE NATURE OF WISDOM IN LEADERSHIP, I'VE BEEN ENAMORED WITH UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LEADERS WHO RESPOND TO EVERY FRESH CHALLENGE WITH EQUANIMITY, COURAGE, AND GRACE, AND THOSE LEADERS WHO WELL, KIND OF FALL APART. THIS ENDEAVOR IS GRAVELY IMPORTANT TO ME, AS THE STAKES ARE EXTRAORDINARILY HIGH FOR THE INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED. FOR LEADERS WHO RESPOND WELL TO ADVERSITY, LIFE AND WORK PRODUCES HAPPINESS, WELL-BEING, AND AN UNWAVERING SENSE OF MEANING AND PURPOSE. FOR LEADERS WHO FALL APART EASILY IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY, AND EVEN FOR THOSE WHO RESPOND TO ADVERSITY WITH GRIM DETERMINATION, LIFE AND WORK IS STRESSFUL, CHARACTERIZED BY A DIMINISHED SENSE OF MEANING. NON-RESILIENT LEADERSHIP ALSO TAKES A HIGH TOLL ON ORGANIZATIONS SEEN IN UNMET GOALS, STALLED AND ABANDONED INITIATIVES, WORKFORCE DISENGAGEMENT, AND A LACK OF PASSION, CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION. ON THE OTHER HAND, MORE RESILIENT INDIVIDUALS IN A SYSTEM AMPLIFY THE RESILIENCE OF THE LARGER SYSTEM. WHEN ONE PERSON BOUNCES FORWARD, THE WHOLE SYSTEM BOUNCES FORWARD. Unsurprisingly, as wisdom is mostly gained through The College of Hard Knocks, leaders who are seen as having wisdom are also highly resilient. But the resilience they possess goes far beyond the ability to bounce back in the face of hardship. These leaders actually grow stronger because of adversity; they bounce forward and they take the whole organization with them. 18 SSDA TODAY | FALL/WINTER 2016 BEAUTIFULLY ORDINARY RESILIENCE AND EXTRAORDINARY LEADERSHIP RESILIENCE What we know about resilience is tantalizingly optimistic. Not only are most people personally resilient, but everyone can learn practices to become even more resilient. It helps to explore in brief, the difference between what I call, Beautifully Ordinary Resilience and Extraordinary Leadership Resilience. First, ordinary resilience is "beautiful" because without it, not a one of us would be here today. Ordinary resilience allows us to restore previous levels of functioning in spite of adversity. With ordinary resilience we are able to get things back on track and resume the path we've been on, with little fall out. Ordinary resilience in other words, creates outcomes that resemble the current status quo, which

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SSDA Today - Fall/Winter 2016

Executive Director's Column
New Federal Guidance on Transgender Bathroom Access
List of Initiatives Headed to November Ballot Long and Diverse
Ballot Measure Wild Card: Gov. Jerry Brown
What Every Leader Needs to Know about Technology: Education Innovation Alliance
Is Your Compensation “Creditable” Towards Retirement? New CalSTRS Regulations Seek to Further Clarify the Answer
Super Strong: The Extraordinary Nature of Leadership Resilience
News and Notes
Advertiser's Index

SSDA Today - Fall/Winter 2016

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